Sunday saw ADO play their biggest game of the season against their greatest rivals, playing Amsterdam’s Ajax in the ArenA. ADO had prior to this game surpassed all expectations, being unbeaten in their first three games, which included the home draw with the reigning champions PSV at home and a stunning 1-4 away at FC Twente, so ADO headed to Amsterdam in buoyant mood.
Sadly the ADO we had seen recently just did not turn up. They seemed to be lacking in confidence, there was no talking on the pitch, which lead to numerous errors which allowed the hosts to take control.
Ajax went straight down the middle at ADO and after only two minutes they had had their first site of goal, a weak effort by Davy Klaassen. In the thirteenth minute ADO did not pick up the Ajax forwards from a corner, allowing Anwar El Ghazi to fire just past the frame of the goal.
In the sixteenth minute ADO totally fell asleep at a throw in. Klaassen lost his marker with ease, crossed the ball towards the penalty spot, allowing El Ghazi to come in and stroke the ball home past Martin Hansen, too easy for the hosts, 1-0.
Just four minutes later the Amsterdammers scored again. A long ball forward was collected by El Ghazi. He got to the dead ball line and crossed towards the penalty spot. No ADO defenders reacted to the threat and Klaassen scored an almost identical goal to the first, poor defending again, 2-0.
ADO’s only first half threat was in the thirty fifth minute, when Aaron Meijers crossed the ball in at pace from the left wing. Mike Havenaar came racing in and his close range powerful header was just too close to Ajax keeper Jasper Cillessen who reacted cat like to keep the ball out.
In the final minute of the half Ajax also managed to hit the post from a free kick, ADO just about holding on and were glad for the half to end. After the break ADO had no real attacking ambition, toothless up front, making the game far too easy for the home side.
The plain and simple truth of the second half was ADO spent forty five minutes soaking up wave after wave of Ajax attacks. The chances they created were too numerous to mention, but the score could have easily have ended up at 8 or 9-0.
In the fifty eighth minute again ADO fell asleep from a dead ball situation. Ajax had a free-kick 25m from goal. Nemanja Gudelj delicately lift the ball over the wall, nobody from ADO moved and it was left to Joel Veltman to sneak in a simple header into the far corner past a stranded Hansen, 3-0.
In the seventy fourth minute Ajax just toyed with ADO to score their fourth. El Ghazi collected the ball wide on the right. He passed the ball inside. The ball made its way across to the left flank, where Arek Milik got to the goal line, beat Hansen and crossed back to the waiting El Ghazi to finish it off, 4-0.
The last sixteen minutes saw ADO just hanging on to respectability. The defence allowed the hosts so much free space and amazingly they could not capitalize on the chances they were given.
At the press conferences the players were wishing they were playing Ajax again next week, they knew they had not performed at all and had let the club down. The head coach Henk Fraser looked very glum as the Ajax manager spoke. It was not a good day at the office for ADO Den Haag. An International break follows and hopefully will give ADO time to lick their wounds, regroup and get ready for the next game.
Attendance: 43, 578